Juan Manuel Marquez, right, and Manny Pacquiao during a news conference… (Seth Wenig / Associated…)
Juan Manuel Marquez last month spoke as if the door to ever fight Manny Pacquiao was closed for good.
But maybe not.
Marquez, at Thursday’s Beverly Hills Hotel news conference to promote his Oct. 12 fight vs. Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, said he will consider fighting Pacquiao a fifth time if the fight were to be staged in Marquez’s native Mexico.
“We offered that to Team Pacquiao and they rejected it,” Marquez said. “If the Pacquiao team tells me they want to fight in Mexico, yes, I will fight him.
“But I want to leave with the feeling I had” in December after knocking Pacquiao out cold. “I want to keep that feeling forever.”
Pacquiao has beaten Marquez twice by narrows decisions, and they’ve also had a draw.
Marquez, who’ll turn 40 in August, said he’s excited about taking on Bradley, an unbeaten champion who holds the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt and who claimed a highly criticized split decision over Pacquaio in 2012.
Marquez wants to become the first Mexican fighter to own world titles in five different divisions.
He also said he holds a special desire to wear the WBO belt because he believes he was deprived of it in losing a close split-decision to then-champion Pacquiao in 2011.
“You have to respect Bradley’s speed, the way he stands in there and fights at times,” Marquez said. “I don’t expect an easy night.”
Bradley (30-0, 12 knockouts) is coming off a thrilling brawl in March in which he won a tight decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in Carson despite being knocked down in the 12th round.
“That brought life to my career again,” Bradley said. “People were saying, ‘What a heart! We’ve never seen a guy with such determination.’ It brought me back to the light. I want to stay in that light. If I can beat Marquez, I’ll be able to say I beat another great fighter.
“No one knows what will happen in there in this one, but I’ve always been able to find a way to win. Marquez is a warrior. He has great determination too. But I’m faster and younger and maybe he’ll get old overnight.”
Marquez, coming off the most sensational victory of his career, said, “Age doesn’t mean anything to me.”
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